High levels of child poverty revealed in West Midlands
More than four in 10 children live in poverty in large areas of the West Midlands, according to new research.
Inner city areas of the region are badly affected – but also leafier areas of rural Shropshire and Staffordshire.
Data has been released by the End Child Poverty coalition claiming to show the proportion of children in families struggling to survive financially.
Sandwell and Stoke-on-Trent have the highest levels of child poverty according to the study with 43 per cent, followed by Birmingham and Walsall with 41 per cent.
The study claims 39 per cent of children in Telford & Wrekin are living in poverty, the joint fifth worst area in the West Midlands along with Wolverhampton.
The research also ranks Shropshire at 18th worst in the table of 30 authorities in the West Midlands, with child poverty at 29 per cent.
Researchers from Loughborough University say the figures reflect thousands of children in need.
It has estimated the numbers of children locked in poverty in each constituency across Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire, showing that roughly 10,522 children are affected in Telford and 7,274 in Wrekin.
In North Shropshire, an estimated 7,325 children are affected, with 6,099 in Shrewsbury & Atcham and 4,790 in Ludlow.
The End Child Poverty groups said the research aims to highlight how levels of child poverty vary across Britain and show that poverty is on the rise.
It also says that while people expect to see poverty in areas of the Black Country, it is more hidden in areas considered more affluent like Shropshire.
Councillor Shirley Reynolds, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for children, young people and education, said: “This is a vast subject and is not just a council issue but an issue for society as a whole and every level of Government.
“It is well documented that Telford has some deprived areas which is reflected in the figures that have been published. However the solution is not a simple one.
“It is an issue which is tackled by many different areas of the council – from housing to education to early years provision to public health as we try to improve the emotional, physical and mental wellbeing of our young.
“This involves holistically supporting children right from birth through to adulthood.”